People talk. We all know that. News about our service travels fast among our small business communities and in my experience, great clients help to bring in more great clients. Sure, this happens organically through referrals, but if you want to speed things up, you should document your best client’s experiences with you through written or video case studies. We’ve found a mixture of the two works best, with the video being upheld as the hero of the case study.

We’ve put together a quick guide to creating this content and then using it as marketing material.

What Makes a Good Client Case Study?

Talk Turkey: Demonstrate Results

No content ever trumps the results you’ve delivered. Too many marketing case studies focus on the process, and in our sector, the process needs to take a back seat to the results. Use the results delivered as the hook in your case study, and you’ll gauge interest.

Percentage increases are a fantastic way to quickly demonstrate the impact you’ve made. Since we added percentage increases to our website homepage, our bounce rate decreased by 18%. We accompanied ours with company logos to increase trust, by showing we work with recognisable brands, and for greater visual impact.

The results we gain for our clients are mostly around sales and revenue increases. Yours might be lowering business overheads, increasing staff engagement, expanding into a new market, reducing health and safety incidents, or reducing company carbon footprints. In any case, aim to numerically demonstrate your impact as much as possible, then shout it from the rooftops!

I’ve seen many case studies follow the template of starting with the brief/the goal and then showing the results. It’s rare that writing up the brief or the goal is worthy of a long word count. Spare your reader’s the strain on their attention span and instead, opt for a bullet-pointed list.

Prompting the Right Response

Our agency’s preference for client case studies is video. Behind the scenes of a well put together video is some careful planning to help our clients get the right information across. Our best clients are keen to help but they’re time poor and need help to describe the impact we have on their business. Instead of the obvious solution of asking a question and getting the client to answer it on camera, we’ve adopted the art of prompting. So, what’s the difference between a question and a prompt? Here’s an example:

Question:

Why did you choose to work with Mint Design?

Prompt:

Have your client complete the sentence: “I chose Mint Design over other agencies because…”

There’s a fine line between prompting the right response and downright putting words into people’s mouths. In our experience, the best responses come not from asking questions, but by providing these open-ended prompts. Give them a question, they’ll give you an answer, give them a prompt, they’ll tell you a story. Watch closely during any reality TV show and you’ll notice they do the same.

Provide An Insight to the Relationship

Some of the best relationships we have with clients have a personal edge: we know a little about their family, their background, and how they like to spend their free time. This is a huge part of how we do business, and we like it that way. It’s important that we demonstrate some insight into the personable relationships we have with clients in our case studies, so we use this space to let it shine through. You’ll have your own unique approach and value-adds that make your client relationships great, so make sure this comes across.

A Look to the Future

Any great client relationship has a long-term plan. It doesn’t need to be meticulously documented, but a mutual understanding of where the relationship is going is key. Having your clients share their plans for the future is a fantastic way to tie off a video case study - it provides a natural ending that’s upbeat and positive. It also helps to demonstrate the longevity of the relationship.

Use Visuals Wherever Possible

Content marketers will agree with the sentiment that text and visuals are like chips and dip. Individually chips are just fine on their own but add some traditional Kiwi onion dip, and you’ve got something really special. Visuals help to support the message in your text but also help to make your body of text ‘scannable’ and enticing to short attention spans. Think infographics, data graphs, and other branded graphics. When it comes to demonstrating results you’ve provided, don’t skimp on graphic design; it will pay dividends.

Marketing your Client’s Case Study Online

Choosing the Right Platforms

Pull traffic to your case study via email marketing or banners. Be sure to include your results in your email/ad copy to inspire those click-throughs. Video teasers on YouTube and Facebook have also been a successful way of us getting more visibility for each case study we produce. More on this below.

Remarketing

If you’re prospecting a new client, chances are, they’re getting quotes/pitches from your competitors too. Hiring any partner is a high involvement process for clients. Using remarketing to drive traffic to your case studies should be a key component of your sales process. The remarketing can help to elevate your pitch above your competitors while the decision makers are weighing up options.

Video Snippets

Cutting highlights from your video and making quick teaser videos is a fantastic way to gain click-throughs to your full case study on your website. It also helps you to gain maximum value for your video production costs. You can run these snippets on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook whether you’re running these snippets as remarketing or as bait advertising. If you plan to use the ‘tease’ to gain click-throughs to the full case study, take this into consideration when you’re filming your video: What do you need to catch on camera to capture some interest and make people want to learn more?

Sales/Quoting

When you’ve built up case studies across key sectors, you can use them to strengthen your pitch that you deliver to your prospective clients. It helps to get your quote accepted if you can demonstrate that your business has experience or has overcome challenges, provided they’re relevant to marketing their product or service.

If you’re running cold-emailing or cold-calling, ensure your sales team has access to case studies to use in their arsenal.

You and your team are fantastic at what you do, and it’s time to show your prospective customers!